Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has cleared the air on the #LekkiTollMassacre, where soldiers shot and killed peaceful protesters.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke on Thursday on Arise TV, said that he did not order the protesters’ killings.
On Tuesday, October 20, men of the Nigerian Army shot and killed peaceful protesters gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate, calling for an end to police brutality.
The killings occurred hours after Sanwo-Olu declared a 24-hour curfew in the state.
Around 3pm on Tuesday, a picture circulated online of a man removing the CCTV cameras at the Toll Gate.
This led to the conclusion that the murder of the protesters was premeditated with the state government’s support.
However, the governor debunked the claim.
Highlights of Sanwo-Olu’s statement:
- Nobody ordered the removal of cameras at the Lekki tollgate.
- The cameras are not security or motion cameras; they are laser cameras for vehicles.
- Confirms the availability of security cameras.
- The state to set up a Judicial Panel to investigate the killings.
- Youth representatives needed to appear at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.
- No direct call to President Muhammadu Buhari.
- Sanwo-Olu does not have powers over the military, so he couldn’t have ordered the killings.
- Curfew was to protect lives and properties and not to harm protesters.
“I did not order the military shooting at Lekki. I don’t have such power as a State Governor. Lagos is for all us. It’s a place where you’re a son of nobody and with hardwork, you can become somebody”- @jidesanwoolu pic.twitter.com/3SVodD9Y7W
— Gboyega Akosile (@gboyegaakosile) October 22, 2020
On Tuesday night, soldiers descended on Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos and opened fire on peaceful protesters.
— Davido (@davido) October 20, 2020
Nigerian youths have called for an end to police brutality.
The call led to the disbandment of a police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Immediately after that, the police hierarchy announced the formation of a new unit, the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).
However, the new unit was also rejected.
This led to continuous protests across the country.
Nigerians in the UK, the US and other countries also joined in the #EndSARS campaign.